Silver Spring Networks Partnering with MECO and HNEI in Maui Smart Grid Project

By Madhubanti Rudra November 10, 2011

Silver Spring Networks, a leading smart grid networking platform and solutions provider, announced its selection by Maui Electric Company (MECO) and the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute at the University of Hawaii (HNEI) for a smart grid project on the island of Maui.

The state of Hawaii has set an ambitious goal of meeting 70 percent of its energy needs through clean energy sources by 2030. The project will help MECO and its customers test the effectiveness of smart grid technologies in reaching and exceeding this goal.

The Kihei area of South Maui has been chosen to participate in this important smart grid project. The MECO customers in this area will have the opportunity to help the utility understand the energy usage pattern in pursuit of the 2030 goal. Volunteer participants will evaluate detailed information of their usage on an energy management web portal and in-home devices such as smart thermostats that will be made available as part of the project.

As part of the Maui Smart Grid Project, renewable energy sources such as wind and solar photovoltaic sources will be integrated into the system. The project will also evaluate how uses of smart grid technologies can help in reducing costs and in improving management related to rising peak demand.

The project will recommend strategies for more efficient operation of electricity grid  through improved asset utilization. In addition, the project will also work out the ways for restoring power outages more quickly and safely.

In a press release, Silver Spring explained that it is developing the customer engagement and education program for the project in close partnership with MECO and HNEI.

As a part of the agreement, Silver Spring will also provide its leading Smart Energy Platform solution that includes CustomerIQ, Silver Spring's web-based energy management portal, advanced metering, distributed generation monitoring, demand response and distribution automation solutions.

“We are pleased to be working with MECO and HNEI in their efforts to better serve their customers and meet the growing energy demands of the island and state. This deployment shows a serious commitment to integrating renewable energy, changing the relationship with MECOs customers and providing Maui and Hawaii with energy independence and cleaner energy, today and in the future,” Scott Lang, chairman, president and CEO of Silver Spring noted in a statement.

The project is being funded by the U.S. Department of Energy as part of a nationwide set of demonstration projects. In addition to HNEI and MECO other project partners include the Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO), County of Maui, Maui Economic Development Board, Sustainable Living Institute of Maui at the University of Hawaii-Maui College, HNU Energy, and SRA International.

Last year, Silver Spring Networks was named Number 1 on the 2010 Global Cleantech 100. In addition, Silver Spring Networks topped the Global Cleantech 100's “2010 Lust List,” a subset of the top 100 companies that are consistently admired by non-stakeholder peers.

Madhubanti Rudra is a contributing editor for IoTevolutionworld. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

IoTevolutionworld Contributor

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